Wednesday, 14 April 2010

PokerStars Buyin Changes


(understatement - I am slightly more ecstatic than I was when I received video games at Christmas when I was 6 years old)

The change to buyin requirements has finally been implemented on Stars:

There's been a lot of worry on the forums about the overlap between 40-50 bb and that the fish that buyin for those amounts would gravitate towards the shallow games. So far, at least in small stakes, it doesn't appear to be a problem. In my estimation, fish tend to like to see flops and call multiple streets to see if they can hit their draw. They can't really do that in a preflop/flop shove structure and I think even if they were to start out playing those games, they are going to get sick of shortstackers' "strategy" faster than regs did at the 20-100 bb tables.

As of last night and this morning, the deep and medium buyin levels have been outnumbering the shallow games by at least 2:1 at small stakes which is a good sign, despite all the shortstackers that 24 table. There's also been somewhat of an influx of shortstackers in the 40-100 game buying in for 40 bb and so far they've been getting crushed trying to implement their style as far as I have seen. They look completely lost by the turn with an extra large (to them) PSB left. Hopefully they'll try out the medium games for a while and be the new fish.

I haven't really had to table select much at all at 100nl since the change. There's generally three 60-80 bb stacks at a lot of tables so I hardly even have to waitlist at all. I guess some of the 40-50 bb fish might be playing the shallow games, but having all the 40-80 bb fish that avoided the 50bb-min games is a laughable tradeoff. The games seem to have loosened up dramatically, especially the deep games - I tried out some 50nl FR deep-ante and was running at about 0.45 vpp/hand which a few other people confirmed. I don't know if that's going to sustain or not, but that's a ridiculously good rate for 50nl.

Overall I really like the changes and I think they're going to be good for the game. But I think PokerStars needs to implement a couple tweaks to the new structure to fine tune it:

I still think they need to get rid of the overlap in buyin. There really is no point to it other than to give the 20bb stacks a decent edge over the 50bb stacks. 40bb is going to drastically reduce that edge imo, as 4bet shoves are going to be much more correct. 50bb just makes awkward stack sizes vs 3bets (unless you make some adjustments and just minraise all the time - assuming the shortstackers are not going to adjust at all to that and 3bet smaller). Haven't done the math on this yet so this is just my logical guestimate - not sure if I will do the math considering I don't plan on opening any 20-50 tables other than to have a laugh at the shortstack on shortstack violence rakefest.

Re-label the buyin structures "Shallow, Medium, Deep" and colour code accordingly as per Full Tilt. I prefer "Normal" to "Medium" but a ton of people think that's unethical wrt the fish thought process. The lobby is a mess of descriptions right now. The last thing you want to do is have recreational players have to read through a somewhat complicated looking information banner and try to find the game they want in a lobby that's currently a wall of text. This re-labeling and especially colour coding  is pretty much a no brainer and just about everyone is calling for it so I would expect this to be implemented relatively soon.

Overall, good job Stars. A few minor fixes should make the site completely in tune with current strategies and player bases.

1 comment:

  1. I've always felt like the PokerStars lobby was a mess, period. I can only imagine that being magnified now. For software that's otherwise so streamlined and efficient, you'd think they'd have better sorting and display options in the lobby. And that's not even accounting for the tournament screen, in which every single entry has it's own in-line description. It's like a bird's nest in there.